A true rebel child of the South, Tonya Watts epitomizes the genuine 21st-century outlaw spirit in country music. Authentic, fearless, strikingly beautiful, the Alabama-born renegade’s mixture of soulful songwriting, impassioned vocal delivery and kicking, hard-edged musicality is downright irresistible.
Watts is a formidable lyricist, an artist who’s penetrating, strikingly original songs range from impassioned romantic laments to withering statements on injustice to roaring honky tonk rockers and dangerously expressive erotic statements. It’s a very powerful creative arsenal, one that has gained the country veteran alliances with such kindred spirits as Jamey Johnson, Deana Carter, David Allan Coe and Hank III.
An accomplished, award-wining singer-songwriter and one of Reverb Nations top ten Los Angeles country acts, Watts has enjoyed an extraordinary career. From professional acting and modeling jobs (she was Pam Anderson’s Baywatch body double, played Dolly Parton in Get to the Heart; the Barbara Mandrell Story) to her ceaseless work as outspoken social crusader (her ongoing efforts to assist Nashville’s homeless riled up a horde of Music City cops and politicians), Watt’s passion and drive are unrivaled. It is her music, though, where this extraordinary woman really excels.
As a performer, Watts’ high-voltage stage show is always mesmerizing. Whether it’s opening for legends like Coe and Hank III, headlining a State fair, playing an intimate Nashville showcase or a wild Hollywood rock club, Watts’ dynamism and versatility always demands—and receives—her audience’s attention and respect.
The outspoken, opinionated Watts is a certifiable bombshell and while her black leather and stars-and-bars emblazoned wardrobe is often strikingly provocative, she is definitely no bimbo. The piercing gaze of her coolly smoldering blue-grey eyes cut directly to the core; with Watts, it’s 100 percent truth, all of the time, and she does not suffer fools or any BS nonsense lightly.
Her staunch refusal to play the industry go-along game, her insistence on maintaining independence and creative control highlight the singer’s untrammeled and unquenchable need to craft her own singular brand of musical communication. Watts celebrates not only Southern music and outlaw culture, but also the universal human spirit, and all of it put across with a vivid, boldly creative twist.
Jonny Whiteside – LA Weekly